Even as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) presented a Rs 33,514.15 crore budget with a surplus of Rs 2.06 crore, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte emphasised on the completion of on-going projects rather than concentrating on new major projects. This was accompanied by a host of promises that were already presented in the 2014-15 budget. Major departments like roads and traffic, storm water drains, health, fire and education saw a repeat of promises from the previous fiscal.
While the capital expenditure for the fire brigade increased to Rs 262.27 crore from 190.53 crore in 2014-15, Kunte repeated his promises on initiating 10 mini fire stations in the city and the BMC’s plans to set up six regional command centres in the city, a promise presented over eight years ago by the BMC.
The water supply department also stated the progress on projects presented last year, including strengthening of the water conveyance system, replacement of water mains and the BMC’s ambitious Water Distribution Improvement Programme aimed at improving services in the city in a phased manner with an allocation of Rs 93.95 crore. The civic body also emphasised on the continuation of the public education and awareness programmes for economic use of water.
In the roads department, the BMC repeated its plans that it failed to implement last year. This includes a comprehensive mobility plan for the city to improve traffic management, a think tank to look at infrastructure issues in the city and the new parking policy which increases the present rates by a whopping 300 per cent. A senior civic official from the roads and traffic department of the civic body said, “We do not want to surprise Mumbaikars every year. The aim of this budget is to concentrate on completion of major projects.”
This year too, Kunte spoke about the BMC’s ambitious BRIMSTOWAD project, a plan envisaged after the 2005 deluge to overhaul the city’s water drainage system. The commissioner announced the plans to set up a committee of two retired SWD officials to revise the master plan and create a priority list of works.
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